Raised Evangelical: A Call for Questions

Now that the Raised Quiverfull project is coming to a close, I have decided to start another project. While Raised Quiverfull covers young adults raised in families influenced by the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, this new project will cover young adults raised in evangelical or fundamentalist families.

Before I make my call for question suggestions, I want to make a quick distinction. While evangelicals and fundamentalists usually endorse some form of patriarchal gender roles, that does not automatically make them part of the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements. In contrast, though, those involved in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements are almost universally also fundamentalist or evangelicals.

Let me put it like this:

If your family attended a megachurch, frequented a Christian bookstore and listened to James Dobson on the radio, you were probably an evangelical.

If your family didn’t believe in drinking or dancing and your church’s dress code included long female hair and jean skirts, you were probably a fundamentalist.

If your family followed the teachings of Bill Gothard, Nancy Campbell, Mary Pride, Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips, Geoff Botkin, Jonathan Lindvall, Scott Brown, and Michael Pearl, or some combination thereof, you were probably involved in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements.

If you have never heard of any of the leaders listed above, your family was probably not involved in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements.

With that distinction made, I’d like to solicit questions from my readers. What sort of questions do you think I should include? What topics are you interested in seeing covered? And also, do you think I should do this project in panel form like Raised Quiverfull, or should I post the answers person by person instead?

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Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Meredith

    I was raised evangelical, and in a church that began as moderate and became pretty fundamentalist. There are definitely large distinctions between the Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, and Christian Patriarchy/QF churches, but I see them as a continuum, in a way. I was lucky in that my parents are old hippies (my grandparents took me to church), so I got an opposing worldview at home.

    Still, it sucks when your Sunday School teacher (who went on to sing on the 700 Club) tells you you’re going to Hell for liking the Beach Boys. I was 7.

    I really liked the panel presentation of the CP/QF questions. It really pointed out the diversity of thought. Some of the same questions may work? For example the questions on race definitely would, and the questions on sexuality and “Purity” (funny point: my church pushed for Abstinence Only sex ed in schools (I’m from TX, we pioneered it!), and I’m nearly the only female from my Sunday School to make it through high school without getting pregnant.)

  • http://www.cookingbakingandtraveling.wordpress.com jwall915

    I like your questions to the Quiverfull peeps a lot, and think they would mostly work for evangelicals. Some things that might be interesting and varied in the responses are: schooling (because fungelicals are a mix of public, private, and homeschooled); social/political issues; modesty (will be very different from the CP/QF crowd, but people will have things to say about it, for sure); sex and birth control – might be fascinating to ask about people’s family size and what BC their parents used, what they were taught about it, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing and writing in this series!

    • victoria

      I’d definitely be interested to hear reflections from people who’d been in public school. I always perceived that Evangelical strains of Christianity got a lot of institutional support from the schools (being someone who was not raised Protestant). I wonder if people who were raised Fundamentalist and/or Evangelical would agree.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    No idea about questions, but *raises hand* I was raised Evangelical, and I’d be happy to answer them…

    • Andrea

      Me too.

    • Julie42

      Same here.

  • Bezron

    I don’t know that I was “raised” evangelical, but my parents got into it pretty heavily when I was about 14 or so (mom earlier). Prior to that, they were hippies and bikers. I may be able to answer your questions from the perspective of someone who was thrown into and forced to comply with the sudden indoctrination. I also have 2 younger siblings who were raised more in evangelicalism and I know what they went through.

  • Noelle

    Would it be possible to use most of the same questions, with only the fewest edits needed to indicate the question is for the group being addressed?

    You gonna do moderate and liberal Christians next? Other religions? Atheists?

    Very interesting so far.

  • Scott

    I was raised in an evangelical family. We frequented the Christian bookstores, my parents did Dobson’s “Growing Kids God’s Way”, and all of us kids were homeschooled. However, we also danced a lot (my dad is a dance instructor), my parents drank, we played cards, we were taught that sex is not a dirty thing, my brother in and I were into the local hardcore punk and heavy metal scene, and my parents fully supported my decision to study theatre at a secular university.

    I feel like I had a great upbringing and I’d be happy to answer questions from the perspective of someone who doesn’t fit the stereotype.

  • Susan

    I was raised evangelical with a dash of fundamentalist too. I think most of the earlier questions would work for us too. I’d be happy to answer anything. I found the previous series fascinating, and a lot of it resonated with how I was raised.

  • http://Www.graceandPressure.blogspot.com Grace

    Hmm. Does being raised in a very conservative Catholic family and community count? My answers to most of your questions were no, but I’ve been reading your blog since the start, since it seems like I shared many of your experiences.

    • victoria

      I’d be interested to see a strict Catholic/Orthodox iteration of this, personally. I think conservative Catholicism and conservative Protestantism are very different cultures and it would be interesting to see where the differences are.

      • ArachneS

        I was also raised in a very conservative traditional catholic family, and I relate to much of what Libby has posted. My parents even owned a Catholic goods store for a while, and we carried many of the books she’s mentioned about dating: Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, etc.

        I think the greatest differences I’ve come across between Evangelicals and Trad. Catholics is the liturgical year for catholics and the huge emphasis on the bible vs huge emphasis in catholic catechism.

        It’s funny, because when we were part of the trad catholic parishes, we considered the new mass(the one that is commonly said in catholic churches nowadays) to be only a sliver away from being protestant. The tridentine latin pre-vatican 2 mass was the only one acceptable. The whole movement is very isolationist even from other mainsteam catholics. “Wolf in sheep’s clothing” was used often to describe them.

      • victoria

        There’s also the whole “once saved/always saved” thing (and how that is reflected in evangelism techniques), faith vs. works, and different conceptions of prayer, though.

        My family was observant Catholic nowhere near as conservative as yours. When I watch something like “Jesus Camp” it’s like a whole ‘nother world :).

  • Lynette

    If you don’t keep very similar questions, I would definitely want to see some questions about what concepts from Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy are familiar – I’ve been astonished at how many I recognize from my rather liberal evangelical upbringing.

    Also, I would lean towards wanting to see one person’s answers per day, rather than one question. I’ve had trouble remembering each person’s answers to previous questions in this round, so can’t always recognize throughlines or connections to their previous thoughts.

  • Christine

    I too was raised evangelical with a large dash of fundamentalism and would be happy to participate in answering your questions. As for things to ask, I think hearing about people’s experiences with the “Culture Wars” would be very interesting, since in my experience, that was a HUGE part of being evangelical–avoiding “worldly” things and (often) embracing some crappy Christian knock-off version (contemporary Christian music, I’m looking at you).

    Others have brought up asking purity questions and I totally agree with that. Since more of us were likely to have dated, it would be interesting to know how many had sexual experiences outside of marriage, how we felt about it at the time versus now, and if we wished we’d done anything differently when it came to dating.

    Thanks for doing this project! I was homeschooled and grew up around a lot of Patriarchy types, so I’ve been able to identify with much of what you’ve posted here.

  • Julie42

    I was raised evangelical/fundamentalist in a large, semi-dysfunctional family. I’d be happy to participate, by the way.
    I’d say one of the big differences between Evangelical culture and Quiverfull culture is that Evangelicals have a lot more interaction with the world than Qfs do. Some of the questions should revolve around public schooling and how they fit in there. How were friendships with other Christians and non-Christians? Were you vocal about your beliefs, like challenging evolution or trying to convert friends? Were you made fun of for your beliefs and how did you deal with that?
    And then there’s sex and modesty. What were they taught about gender roles? How much were they taught about sex? Was it like being taught to abstain from sex when you’re around other people with more modern views about sex? Did you feel judgmental of people for having different morals about sexuality?

    • Julie42

      How much of mainstream culture were you allowed to be a part of? If some of this was restricted, how did it feel being around it, but not able to participate? How did it affect your popularity or friendships?